Introduction


Cycle Touring means going on a multi-day bicycle ride.  There are two ways you can cycle tour:
  1. Supported: You receive help/support from someone on your journey.  This could mean a support van which carries what you don’t need during the day so that all you have to carry is what you need for riding that day.  If necessary, you (and your bike) can jump into the support van (aka the “sag wagon”) and take a rest or skip a portion of the riding.  There are scheduled breaks along the way where you meet the support van for snacks, meals and to top up on water.  Or, it could mean a luggage transportation service that simply moves your non-essentials (for riding) to that day’s destination for you, but you’re on your own for getting to said destination (i.e., no “sag wagon”).
  2. Self-Supported: You don’t have arranged support for the trip – you are self-sufficient.  You carry your own camping gear (if you’re going to be camping) and there is no one to transport food, luggage, or you and your bike.  You’re carrying everything with you as you progress. 

I started cycle touring in 2009 when I was 43, and I actually started to LOVE cycle touring in 2015 when I was 49 and finally figured out what really worked for me (I had already discovered an awful lot about what DIDN’T work for me). 

I am the consummate “Faint of Heart” cycle tourist.  I'm terrified of traffic, I'm asthmatic, and I'm gettin' old.  This blog is my way of sharing some information and advice with the other “Faint of Hearts” out there who are interested in self-supported cycle touring.  It's not just an activity for "Spandex Joe" with his 200L lung capacity!

I know that, at first glance, supported touring looks like the easier, more pleasant way to go, .  My problem with supported cycle touring, though, is the requirement to make it to the scheduled destination each day.  There’s no wiggle room for inclement weather, deciding that a place is really super and staying there for a day or two, or just having a “serious sissy day”.   You simply can’t beat the flexibility of a well-planned, but minimally scheduled, self-supported cycle tour.  And, as a bonus, self-supported is much more economical.

Thanks for reading my blog.  Let me know if you have any specific questions that you’d like me to answer for you, or if you have any great tips for “Faint of Heart” self-supported cycle tourists.

The "Faint of Heart" Author

Comments

  1. Can your "serious sissy day" be called a "serious sissy sag"?

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  2. Couple other notes: you get to choose your travel companions, which can be wonderful when you're having a bad day, or needing some alone time; friends who know and understand you make great travel partners. Plus, there's also the bonus of familiar equipment and gear, and getting to stay in unique places (like a random field next to a farmhouse where the owner plies you with apple wine? Or on a slug superhighway) and meeting interesting people; there's also far less time pressure to make a certain point so you actually relax more. It can also give you confidence in your map reading skills, and the ability to take creative short cuts (like ones that climb a ridge, drop into a small town where you get to watch all the girls chasing the one male kid who is driving a tractor)...

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  3. Love it! It makes me wish I could have cycle toured when I was younger and my knees weren't so temperamental.

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  4. Hi Rhonda - delightful to meet you on the forum. I was almost sure Albertan bike tourists were a figment of my imagination until you! I hope I'll have a nice place for you to visit on post-2019 tours in Europe. Happy and safe trails!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jacquie! To you and Murph as well! I've pointed my mom at your blog because she has something in common with it (she's all about the dog). ;)

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